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Pea plant
A pea plant is easy to grow and provides a nutritious supplement to many meals. It's especially great where kids are involved, as you can pick the peas and eat them straight from the plant!

 

What you need to know about a pea plant

Name: pea, Pisum sativum varieties.

Height: depends on variety, but ranges from about 30cm to 2m.

Foliage: evergreen but lives for less than one year.

Climate: cold temperate, warm temperate, arid/semi-arid, sub-tropical.

Soil: prefers deep, well-drained soil with added organic matter.

Position: full sun.

Flowering and fruiting: white flowers followed by green pods.

Feeding: avoid feeding, just add well-rotted organic matter before planting.

Watering: plants should be kept damp, but not wet.

Appearance and characteristics of a pea plant

The edible pea is a short-lived plant that grows as a climber. It is generally grown throughout the cooler months and has dull green leaves, some of which hug the plant stems. Flowers are usually white, but pink and purple forms also occur.

Pea plant easy to grow

Uses for the pea

The pea is a popular plant for the vegetable garden. The common edible pea produces a pod that is filled with the familiar round green edible seeds. There is also the snow pea form, which produces a flat edible pod with no seeds and is particularly popular in Asian stir-fries. Sugar snap peas are similar in that they produce an edible pod without seeds, but their pods tend to be somewhat rounder.

How to plant and grow peas from seeds

  1. Planting time depends on where you are. Seeds should be sown in autumn and winter in warm district’s but after late winter frosts have passed in colder areas.
  2. Prepare your soil well with rotted organic matter and dig it through thoroughly.
  3. As peas are climbers, you will need to install some sort of a frame for the peas to cling to. This can be of string, mesh or wire, but it needs to be quite thin so the fine tendrils can grasp on. For example, a wire, bamboo or plastic trellis is fine, but timber will be too large for the plant to grasp.
  4. Plant the seeds into damp soil and do not water for a few days. This will avoid the emerging seedlings rotting off
  5. Keep your peas in a sunny and breezy spot.

Caring for peas

Keep the soil around your pea just damp—letting it get too wet can lead to problems. Also avoid wetting the foliage, as this can provide the perfect conditions for fungus diseases.

It is best not to feed your pea, as it may end up producing foliage at the expense of fruit.

Diseases and pests

Sometimes peas are affected by powdery mildew, a fungus disease that grows a white powder over the foliage. This can be reduced by growing your plant in sunny and airy positions, and by avoiding wetting the leaves. Planting at the recommended spacing also reduces overcrowding. Powdery mildew can be controlled with a garden fungicide if it occurs.

Very young pea shoots are sometimes attacked by aphids. Plants are also sometimes the victims of whiteflies and thrips. All these sap-sucking insects can be controlled with garden insecticides.

How to propagate a pea

Peas are propagated from seeds. A range of seeds and seedlings are available to purchase, but if you would like to try collecting your own seeds, just leave the pods on the vine until they dry up at the very end of the season. Collect these and shell the peas into a labelled paper bag, then keep them in a moisture-free spot for next season. It is important that the peas are completely dry when saved, and that they are kept dry, to ensure they don’t rot.

If you like this then try

Mint: grow this reliable herb to flavour your peas.

Potatoes: a traditional tuberous and productive vegetable with so many uses.

Beans: this perfect accompaniment to peas is also easy to grow.

Start planting today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!

 

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.